Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm getting older!

This was a terrific week! I can't remember what day last week I posted to my blog and I could check but I am too lazy! So, I will start with Monday. Monday was a normal day. We are trying to get through school! Most years, we are done by now but this year that has not been the case. We only have 11 more days left!! Two weeks and one day!! We are very excited. We haven't played hooky very much but I think it's because we had to start later due to one of the children's curriculum being updated. That usually happens when important events in history occur and they need to be included. Tuesday we had a great day. We met a friend of ours at the park and the children played for a little bit then we came back to the house because they were "sooooooo hot"!!! The children were soooooo hot, not me and my friend. 

Here is one of my sister-friends' dogs - a lab mix - and her daughter's HUGE bunny!! He is a cute little bunny but he is sooo big. His name is Wocket and I call him Wocket the Rocket!

Wednesday was my birthday. I am 45 for those of you who really want to know. We really had a great day. We went to the nursing home, then to get John and Rachel. I wanted to do something fun on my birthday so we spent it walking around Mayfaire Town Square. It's kind of an outdoor mall. My sister-in-law, John and Rachel's mom, went with us. We had a great time! Then we came home and had a party for me. This is the cake - obviously.

Here is everyone waiting for me to blow out the candles. As you can see it's not always easy to get  seven children to smile. And in case you are worried, we DID eat dinner first. 

First Beatrice is grumpy, then Rachel is grumpy!! Go figure!!

Mr. Handsome only got 10 candles. I don't blame him. I probably would have set off the smoke alarm if he tried to put 45 on the cake. Or the candles would have melted all over the cake!

Here I am blowing out the cake!

Mr. Handsome does not seem to realize that little kids need little pieces of cake! This is Rachel.

Beaker. Doesn't she look cute in pig tails!!




Maddie - Take one

Maddie - take two - no better! HA!!


One of my birthday presents. A laptop lapdesk - for the laptop I don't have! Don't ask. I can't figure it out either. But as the saying goes, it's the thought that counts! (I must have given him a present he really, really, really hated and instead of just TELLING me, he is going to make me pay, pay, pay, pay, pay forever and anon!!!) And he also gave me a big bag of Giardelli candy. Yummy!! (Don't think that I am upset with him about this gift. It is really nice!! He never forgets my birthday, our anniversary, Valentine's Day, etc.!! So who am I to complain about a gift when he has taken the time to go out and get it for me and I don't have to remind him when important holidays are!)

Thursday was a finish the banners day! I worked hard on them. And then one of my sister-friends came to visit. We had a great time. Friday, we did school and then headed to the beach for the first time this year. I don't include our vacation because that was not our beach. Wrightsville Beach is OUR beach but it really belongs to the tourists. They don't want locals so they jack the price up so high for parking, you might as well go to New York City and back!! It is like a Caribbean beach and it's the only one like it in North Carolina and South Carolina and Georgia - until you get to Florida!! That's probably why it's so popular. I have a love-hate relationship with tourists here. While I am so glad they bring money to our area, I am so glad for Labor Day! I know that is awful, but Wilmingtonians drive bad enough, add a bunch of tourists who don't know where they are going because Wilmington is laid out in a very confusing and twisted way, and you have mass chaos and traffic. It is typical on a road I travel at least three times a week - and that's being conservative! - that although the speed limit is 55 most people don't go over 45, actually don't even come CLOSE to 45!! Not kidding. In NJ, you could get a ticket for going under the speed limit!! Here is another example. At lights, most people stare dreamily at the green light for what I consider an inordinate amount of time and then go. As if that isn't bad enough, each car has to do that, which only affords maybe three cars the opportunity to go through the light. In NJ, fifty cars could get through that light in the same amount of time. (I know, go back north you say!) Anyway, after the beach, we came home and awaited the arrival of Shelly/Sheldon the turtle. We are babysitting a turtle this week. Kristinie the Great and Beatrice sit and watch Shelly/Sheldon(they aren't sure if it's a girl or boy) like they are watching their favorite TV show! After Shelly/Sheldon was dropped off, we met our friends for dinner at Atlanta Bread company - one of my favorite chain restaurants. Did you know after 8:00, their pastries and bread are half price!!!! HALF PRICE!!! WOW!! In the photo above are two of my children and my friends' children. She has five children too but three are out of high school. The younger two are Maddie and Robert's age. They have known each other since they were babies. 

Yesterday is a day that will go down in infamy. I finished the banners and rushed over to church to hang them. Much to my chagrin, I realized I didn't listen to my friend who sells fabric!! They were over a foot too wide!! YES THEY WERE!!!! HOURS and HOURS and HOURS of work down the drain?!! NOPE!! I prayed about it and I trimmed off 10" from each banner, repositioned two letters, got it done, after seven hours. Then I went back to church and one of my friends met me and we hung them. They look great!! This is a very arduous task I have volunteered for!! The more I do it, the more I realize I love making them but I am WAY over my head! It is a testimony of what God can do with a village idiot!! HA!! Just kidding! It's a testimony of what God can do with someone who is willing! 

Today was a great day in church. This evening we had our Get Wet night in AWANA! Everyone had such a great time!! It was soooooo fun! And everyone DID get wet. I wore my raincoat because I am a big baby. There is irony in that as my family is a water throwing, crazy pitch you in the lake kind of family! I did get our commander soaked so I feel like I accomplished my task. The evening starts out nice and calm and lots of fun. Then the little kids go inside and bedlam breaks loose!! An all out water fight ensues. I, of course, do not participate in that because I am afraid of getting hurt so I go in and help the Cubbies and Puggles get dressed. I feel obligated since four of them are from my family: Beaker, John, Rachel, and our grandnephew Aiden! That's half of the Cubbies! It was a great night and the last AWANA night before our Awards Ceremony next week. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

God is good - all the time

So, here I am! I decided I would really make an effort to try to write once a week again, and that lasted, well, a week!! But I think this it has only been two weeks since I wrote last. I hop anyway. I have a lot of pictures. The week before Mother's Day we went to Myrtle Beach with my family. My niece and her husband couldn't come down because they were both still in school. Her brother and his family came down for a couple of days. We had a great time. BUT - before that there was work to do. People always wonder how I do what I do. I make time for it. It's up to me what I spend my time doing and I love having fun! So here is some fun!
Here is Grandma Jones' (aka Dorothy) Mother's Day present. Hopefully you can read what they children wrote. Thank you pinterest for the inspiration! I found it here: Being the rebel that I am, the "real" one was WAY too symmetrical for me! HA! So here is our version. 

And here is the one for Grandma Blake. Note that our Maddie knows how to flatter Grandma Blake - she's FASHIONABLE!! 

And here is the first day of our vacation. The view from the beach house we rented in North Myrtle Beach - Cherry Grove to be exact. 

And we have my brother Chris to thank for this great house. Of course, Oz and Dorothy, being used to five star establishments were not to impressed with the place. It was simple, charming, had plenty of space for seven little kids plus one who came for a couple of days! 

And here is Fearless Beaker riding the waves!

Trying desperately to walk with flippers on land. 

Oz and Dorothy!

My brother Chris and his wife, Jackie. (Not to be confused with MOI of course!)

My brother Tom and our Maddie.

Beatrice and Rachel. Yes, we did in fact remember their bathing suits. No, we did not plan on them swimming! But once again, the Hansen/Syvertsen gene takes over and they are drawn to the water!

THE BOY running. But what else would he be doing?

Cousin John - running of course! And probably not from THE BOY!



Dorothy and Maddie


Part of the Gang! Everyone loves Uncle Tom.

Some of the children brought their bikes. Including Tom, Erin, Chris, and Jackie. So they were excited to be able to ride them on the beach.

Tom riding around Maddie!

Kristinie the Great rode her bike about five feet before she realized it wasn't easy to pedal in sand!

Tired children! Beatrice on left, Erin (Tom's wife), and Rachel (Tom and Erin's daughter)

Tom trying to wake up John.

Oz keeping Beaker company.

So who takes photos of food, right? Me! Dorothy made this terrific salad and it looked so nice I wanted to take a photo of it. It was a green bean salad with a homemade vinagrette that I did not try. I am one of those weird people that DOES NOT like salad dressing on my salad. I can not get the proper ratio of salad dressing to salad and so I just don't bother. I will eat a caeser salad with dressing at a restaurant but usually it's soaked in salad dressing. BLEH!! I like to taste the fresh vegetables I am eating. Enough of that rant already.

Miniature Golf! For the record, no one was harmed in this very confusing, wild, crazy game of miniature golf. I think it lasted maybe 21 minutes! If we didn't have a family of four in front of us, it would have lasted about 3 minutes. Only two balls were hit in the water. And I actually got a hole in one!

As you can see, some of us were more interested in the decor around the miniature golf course! Ha Ha!

Like my shorts? Yes, they are true golf shorts. and they would have looked even better if I had remembered my belt. These are my Loudmouth Ladies! I would have preferred a LOUDER pattern but oh well! I still love these.

How many children does it take to retrieve a golf ball? 

Beaker getting ready to swim.

Beaker asked Uncle Chris to brush her hair. And Uncle Chris did better than I did. And I don't think he's ever brushed a little girls' head of hair!!

The puzzle that took up one whole table for half the week. Everyone worked on it. Well, except Beaker. She did want to take some pieces. The Great Oz even opened up the vacuum cleaner to find the last and missing piece.

How did I get them to stand still?!

At Ripley's Aquairum

The blur to the right of Robert is my great nephew. He is my brother Chris' grandson. It's his stepson's son. His name is Aiden and he is a cute little boy. He, Robert, and John are buds.

Beatrice wanting to touch a horseshoe crab.

Aunt Jackie trying to help Lindsay and Kristinie the Great.

Finally!! She caught one.

Here is everyone at the stingray tank trying to touch a stingray. You can see Mr. Handsome in the white shirt in the background. I think he is holding onto Beaker so she won't fall in.

John and his two new stuffed toys.

Back to the beach! Beatrice

Aiden checking things out. He is more apprehensive than his cousins are.But after awhile he was right there with them.


The pool was a lot more fun than the ocean! From the bottom in the red shirt, going clockwise, Aiden, Rachel, Kristinie the Great, Beatrice, and John.

We also got to celebrate Aiden's fourth birthday!

At Wonderworks! If you have not been to wonderworks, go! It is so much fun. We are in the hurricane house. My sister-in-law Jackie, and I got such a kick out of it because we have been in so many hurricanes 45 mph winds were nothing to us. But it did make for a couple of funny photos.

Before wind starts.

After wind starts

On a pulley ride

The bed of nails. Glad we have tempurpedic!

Jackie taking photos of the ropes course. I was planning on going on. I knew I had a fear of heights when I was on very tall buildings or tall places but I figured I would be fine on the ropes course since it wasn't very high and I was hooked to the course with a cable so I couldn't fall. BOY! Was I wrong! I lasted six inches. I tried to step my foot out onto one of the platforms from the platform I was on and it felt like the platform was moving and I couldn't get my balance! So I chickened out. It turns out my brothers both have a fear of heights too. I didn't realize it. I was never, ever afraid of anything. Never. Nothing. I lived on the edge of crazy most of the time. If someone had a great idea that was dangerous and lacked common sense, I was all in! Well, unless it involved something illegal. Then I wasn't. I fear of heights must be hereditary. Anyway, Taylor, Lindsay, Robert, and Beatrice went on the ropes course. Maddie also got scared and changed her mind. I sort of regret it because I really did want to go on it. Jackie and I did do the virtual rollercoaster and we were both sure we were not going to make it due to motion sickness. I have turned into a real whimp!

Beaker going into space.

The BIG bubble area.

Beaker worn out!

This is apparently Vanna White's house in North Myrtle Beach.

Our sunset view.

Back to the real world. Yogurt bars must be the NEW thing because Freshberry moved into town and had  a grand opening and they gave out free cupcakes. We were all in on that one, let me tell you. But just for the record, they were not as good as my friend Amy's cupcakes.

After Freshberry, it was off to the nursing home! 

And here are John and Beatrice on the way home.

On May 19, we had our ladies banquet at church. Ladies volunteered to decorate tables. Our theme was Lily of the Valleys. So I did not want to buy real lilies and I didnt want to buy fake ones. I would have just thrown the fake ones out. So we decided to make origami ones. I wish I remembered to take a photo of our table. We won Best Table! The girls and I had fun decorating it. It was greens, blues, and browns. And later on down the way, you'll see a picture of the party favor, which we filled with candy and tied the Bible verse around the lily.

Eating peanut butter and jelly cupcakes! Woo hoo!!

One tired young lady! This is our Maddie!

Another tired young lady. 

Here we are with some of our stuff packed and ready to go to Myrtle Beach. I guess these photos are out of order.

Beaker spending her allowance at the Disney Store.

Friendly's - where you can get the best kids'meals EVER! Here is the dessert that comes WITH the meal!

Rachel has a tattoo on her head. 

We took a bike ride.

Tired Beatrice.

Robert made basketball cookies. Which came out great.

Ah, here we go! Here is the globe vase that I etched a lily on. I put the Bible verse reference on the other side. What's so funny is, I had to make 8 because each table sat 8 people. Well, all of us were five! So we brought home four globe vases filled with candy and origami lilies! I gave Lindsay's best friend mine. What would we do with Five vases?!!! 

An origami session. Don't ask me how many lilies I got done on this day. Thankfully, I began well before the banquet so I had time to teach them and make the lilies.

Maddie made birds and hung them from the ceiling.

Beaker working hard.

John is exhausted! 

Beaker won a door prize at the banquet!!! And there is our last two weeks - or three. I do not have much to say - shocking I know.